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Shepard retiring as Indiana chief justice

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Indiana Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard announced Wednesday that he is stepping down from the bench in March 2012. Shepard, who joined the Indiana Supreme Court in 1985 and became chief justice in 1987, is the longest serving state court chief justice in the United States.

Shepard has authored nearly 900 opinions and 68 law review articles. He co-created the Indiana Conference for Legal Education Opportunity with Gov. Frank O'Bannon in 1997 to help minority and educationally and economically disadvantaged students succeed in law school. In 2007, Shepard was appointed by Gov. Mitch Daniels to co-chair the Indiana Commission on Local Government Reform with former Gov. Joe Kernan. Their report on how to streamline government became known as the "Kernan-Shepard Report."

Shepard has also served as adjunct professor at Yale Law School — where he received his law degree in 1972 — as well as at the Maurer School of Law in Bloomington and Robert H. McKinney School of Law in Indianapolis.

The Evansville native has been honored by his hometown — he is the inspiration for the Evansville-Vanderburgh School Corp.'s Randall T. Shepard Academy for Law and Social Justice, and the Evansville Bar Association recently restored and named the Randall T. Shepard Courtroom in the Old Vanderburgh Courthouse. Shepard is married and has one daughter.

The Indiana Judicial Nominating Commission, which is chaired by Shepard, will begin interviewing candidates in February. The governor will select the next justice.

 

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  • Inquiring minds want to know
    Justice Shepard is quite young as far as judges go. I was before Richard Cudahay last month -- over 80. A setting federal judge in Kansas is over 100. Shepard is Bill and Hillary Clinton's age -- went to school with them, in fact. So what does he have planned for the rest of his life?
  • A Brilliant Jurist
    Chief Justice Shepard is a brilliant jurist. He has served the state of Indiana honorably and with dignity. He is thoughtful and fair. The Judicial Nominating Comission has a tough job ahead of it. I have practiced law in Indiana for 23 years. With all due respect to my fellow attorneys, I cannot think of a single judge or lawyer who can fill Shepard's shoes.

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